The IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported in its bio-bubble. The postponement of the tournament was announced after SunRisers Hyderabad's wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 along with Delhi Capitals' spinner Amit Mishra.
Earlier, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had also returned positive results.
Two matches -- Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians -- were postponed before the Indian board decided to indefinitely shelve the lucrative T20 league.
Though the tournament could not be played out against a backdrop of humanitarian disaster, the BCCI is searching for options to stage the remainder of the tournament. In a recent interview, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said that the Indian board would incur a loss of over INR 2000 crore or more if this year's IPL gets scrapped, adding that they will look out for an available window to stage the tournament before the ICC T20 World Cup.
"If we fail to complete the IPL, the loss will be close to INR 2500 crore (USD 340 million approximately). That is going by early estimates," Ganguly told The Telegraph.
"There has got to be a lot of shuffling. Only a day has passed since we suspended the IPL. We have to speak to other boards and see if a window can be made available before the T20 World Cup. Lots of things are involved and we will slowly start working on them."
Last year, the thirteenth edition of the IPL was first postponed and then shifted to the UAE with India being in the grips of the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. While the future of IPL 2021 and the T20 World Cup hangs in the balance until the situation improves, Ganguly feels one can only wait and hope for things to get better in such 'extraordinary times'.
"I wouldn't say it (IPL suspension) is a blow... Don't forget last year we had no Wimbledon or Olympics. These are extraordinary times and we have to take it in our stride and move on. We can't do much in these situations. Perhaps we have to only wait for things to improve," he said.
"Let's see what happens to the World T20. There's still some time left and we don't know how things will pan out a month later... Can't comment right now. But let’s not assume things," he said.